Several weeks ago, Gripped Magazine editor, Brandon Pullen, posted on little-known bouldering location behind Castle Mountain, Banff National Park. I started digging on the location, in awe of the views from his post.
Very little info was available anywhere, and with good reason. I can’t say I personally know too many climbers who would be will to make a 3 1/2 uphill approach to boulder – accept one… Me.
Last Wednesday I set out with three friends from the gym, who I was able to convince to join me on this quest to discover this hidden gem of a boulder field. With 3 crash pads in tow we set out on the long uphill haul. Its quite an aggressive trail at points in the first 2/3’s, but levels off into a wonder hike on the upper section as you approach Tower Lake, before ascending to Rockbound.
We were not disappointed. As the only climbers on sight, we had the run of the land. In fact, we were really the only people at the lake for most of the day. The odd pair would ascend, check out the water and return down.
The south shore and hill side are loaded with spectacular, house-sized boulders. Epic over-hangs, extreme high-ball topouts. You could bolt many of these and develop some cool routes.
We worked some great ledgy warm ups before moving higher up the hill to some tougher territory. It was a creative day, the area is a clean slate ready for so many first ascents – unlimited potential looms here.
No development has been recorded in this area, and rightfully so. It is not an area many will ever venture into to boulder. Though, I feel that those who do, will certainly go back. I know I will.
From a photographers stand-point, its hard to find a better backdrop to shoot on. The scene is stunning. Mountain side bouldering, lakeside. Cliffs and a waterfall to the North, Castle’s high walls and iconic Eisenhower Tower to the West. The Bow Valley lies to the South and Helena Ridge to the West.
Another massive boulder sits on the West shore of Tower Lake. There are also many boulders to be discovered on the approach to Tower lake on the left hand side as you pass Eisenhower Tower. Be careful about rotten and loose rock. This is well weathered stone and some of it is quite chossy.
The descent back to the truck was almost a grueling as the approach. 8km downhill with crash pads in tow.
If you are looking to get on some [virtually] untouched rock, this is the place. Trust me, if you are in search of epic views, gorgeous water and some sweet boulders, you want to check this out.